Get set for cosmic adventure with a preview of Marvel's new Rocket Raccoon series

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Jun 4, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT

Before Rocket Raccoon becomes a movie star, he becomes the star of a brand-new Marvel comic from Eisner-winning, fan-favorite creator Skottie Young.

As the marketing machine for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy feature has gained more and more speed, Rocket's gotten more and more attention, both as one of the more unusual and one of the more charismatic members of the team. For months, we eagerly awaited his first lines of dialogue in a Guardians trailer, he was a big part of Marvel's Free Comic Book Day releases, and by the end of the summer toy versions of him could be in kids' bedrooms all over the world. Before the Guardians movie hits on Aug. 1, though, we'll get even more time with Rocket when the first issue of his ongoing solo series hits comic-book stores.

Here's Marvel's synopsis accompanying a new preview of Rocket Raccoon #1:

As defenders of the cosmos go, Rocket Raccoon has faced his fair share of battles. He’s been a hero to the weak, a champion of the good, and a protector the innocent. Not to mention a heartthrob to many intergalactic species across the galaxy. But is he ready to be…a fugitive?!

Framed for a crime he didn’t commit, Rocket and his pal Groot’s high-flying life of adventure and heroism may be a thing of the past as he’ll soon find himself on the run and on the wrong side of the law. And the authorities aren’t the only one’s hot on his TAIL! (Too easy). An intergalactic boxing match, fierce alien creatures, and a deadly militia of Rocket’s ex-girlfriends known only as the Exterminators – and that’s just the FIRST ISSUE!

It's not all fun and games and cosmic adventure for our hero, though. According to Young (who's known for everything from his Eisner-winning work on Marvel's comic-book adaptations of L. Frank Baum's Oz novels to his always-spectacular Marvel variant covers), Rocket will also have to face some hard truths about his future in the galaxy.

“Despite Rocket’s attitude and antics he has a heart under there," Young said in an interview with Marvel. “He has some things he may or may not want to need in his life. He’s going to have to examine that. When you’re believed to be the last of your kind left in this galaxy or all the galaxies, that’s something you carry with you. That plays a role in the way you operate. We’ll see him explore that a little bit.

“But ya know, right after that he’ll probably shoot some stuff."

Rocket Raccoon #1 hits comic-book shops everywhere July 2. Check out three pages of interior art (featuring Groot in the boxing ring!) and several variant covers in the gallery below.

(And while we're talking about Rocket, please consider sending some support in the direction of his co-creator, Bill Mantlo, who's still dealing with expensive ongoing health issues after a hit and run in 1992. Read more about that here.)